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Our Sporting Clubs Celebrated

21 May 2021
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This week we celebrated our local community sports clubs with our inaugural 2021 City of Charles Sturt Sports Awards.

Presented by Mike Smithson, 31 nominations were received across four award categories in 12 different sports including; AFL, athletics, baseball, cricket, croquet, cycle speedway, dog obedience, lawn bowls, netball, race running, tennis and surf life saving, reflecting a truly diverse range of sport and recreation activities across our City.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of community sport, and sporting achievements wouldn’t be possible without the diligent work of the many volunteers – the passionate coaches, officials, administrators, parents and supporters who share their knowledge and skills and give their time generously to advance grassroots sport every week. It was fantastic to host a night to honour these volunteers.

Mayor Angela Evans said “Our sports club volunteers are the heartbeat of our City and the contribution they make to support, connect and keep people involved people is incredibly valuable. Thank you very much.”

Our winners were selected by an astute judging panel; Inclusive Sport SA CEO, John Cranwell, Sport SA CEO, Leah Cassidy and Sunday Mail Sports Columnist and Bradman Medallist, Ben Hook. The winners were:

West Beach Parks - Coach Or Official Of The Year

David Grainger

David Grainger has been integral to retaining members and attracting new players to Henley South Tennis Club, providing competition pathways and driving a record number of teams this year (19 junior and 18 senior teams). He has guided substantial growth in female competition, as well significantly increasing the number of junior teams from 13 to 19 (with 13 of these teams making finals). David is a well-respected coach, and a key factor in the club’s continued success.

Westfield West Lakes - Administrator Of The Year

Giannina Taeger

Giannina is a passionate administrator for Fitzroy Community Club. When she’s not busy being treasurer, registrar, merchandise director, and trainer for the men’s, women’s and junior footballers, she’s putting up goalposts, carrying cricket gear, washing uniforms, cooking dinners, serving beers and grinding coffee. She applies for grants, finds sponsors for players (or sponsors them herself) and is always looking to improve her club.

Adelaide United Fc - Club/Association Of The Year

Fitzroy Community Club

Fitzroy Community Club has invested an increasing commitment to junior and women’s sport with the addition of two netball teams, stand-alone girls’ football teams, and some AFLW draftees. The club introduced Junior Blasters Cricket in 2020, building on the club’s nationally acclaimed Junior Cricket World Cup event, which continues to attract 500+ people of multicultural backgrounds for one day of cricket and festivities. The club regularly hosts school sports days, book launches, car rallies, garage sales and frisbee events.

Active Inclusion - Champion Award

Woodville District Baseball Club

The club inspires people with physical and intellectual disabilities to participate in mainstream competition, with Division 7 coach and life member Shane Lodge playing 400 senior games. Fellow life member and Division 7 player, Tim Russell is also Bat Boy for the club’s Division 1 team. The club also supports participation for children with autism and welcomes people from LGBQTI and culturally diverse backgrounds.

Mayors - Lifelong Contribution To Sport In Charles Sturt

Allan Staunton

At 87 years young, Allan Staunton has been devoted to the Findon Skid Kids for more than 30 years. Allan has been the President since 2003, an active Referee, Track Maintenance Manager, and an Australian Cycle Speedway Council Representative for decades. Allan is at the track EVERYDAY and works tirelessly to help plan and prepare successful World Tours, and even helps prepares the fire jump. Allan is passionate about Cycle Speedway, the local sporting community, and he makes a difference.

Clean Life Sports Volunteer Of The Year

Giannina Taeger

In her speech, Giannina shared beautifully just what it takes to be a volunteer, “It takes a lot of heart to do what we do. To actually care for the people in the community is a really special thing.”

Congratulations to all of our nominees, finalists and winners and thank you for what you do.